UAE Foreign Exchange Industry Experts Positive of Economic Recovery in 2021

UAE Foreign Exchange Industry Experts Positive of Economic Recovery in 2021

The year 2020 saw a drop in remittances value by 10-15%, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the drop in remittances value by 10-15% in 2020, the UAE’s foreign exchange industry executives remain confident in recovery mainly due to the increase in economic activity, Covid-19 management by the government and the return of expat workers to the UAE being the major contributing factors for the increase in remittance flows.

Read: Investors Positive & Confident about the UAE Economy

UAE Foreign Exchange Industry Experts View

Khaleej Times conducted interviews with several industry experts who were positive that remittances and foreign exchange business will pick up in 2021.

Joyalukkas Exchange – Antony Jos, MD – Joyalukkas Exchange & Treasurer at the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG), expects growth in remittances this year on the back of a strong rebound in the economy, strong vaccination drive, firmer oil prices, Expo 2020 Dubai and the opening up of the Israel market to UAE businesses.

Lulu Financial Holdings – Adeeb Ahamed – MD Lulu Financial Holdings said that the outlook for UAE remittances is positive for 2021 and the Lulu Group remains bullish in their views for the remittance and foreign exchange business. Ahamed said a revival of the economic activity will be a huge boost to the business along with Covid-19 management by the UAE government, the return of expat workers to the UAE and better job opportunities which will influence the remittance flows.

Al Ghurair International Exchange – Imad Ul Malik, GM – Al Ghurair International Exchange & Joint Treasurer at FERG said that remittances from the UAE are expected to grow in 2021 as a result of the vaccination drive and opening up of the leisure and travel industry. Likewise, the opening of the leisure and travel industry is also an indication of the increased confidence in getting back to normality. The upcoming Expo 2020 will also reflect directly on the remittance industry in a positive manner.

Orient Exchange – Rajiv Raipancholia, CEO – Orient Exchange, said there is uncertainty on the outlook and does not expect a return to pre-pandemic levels this year. However, he stated that if more projects were launched this year, there will be demand for more migrant workers, which would lead to a bullish outlook for remittances.

UAE Coronavirus Cases Decreasing 

UAE was seeing a gradual decrease in the infection rates, as 52.46% of the population has received the Covid-19 vaccine according to the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) which is a positive sign and a step to recovery and resuming normal life in the country. Daily Covid-19 cases in the UAE dipped below 2,000 for the first time in more than two months, with 1,898 new cases reported on March 15. 

UAE Economic Recovery 2021 Strategy

The post-COVID 19 will give rise to new business patterns with governments playing a key role in the national economy, leading to substantial investments in digital infrastructure, 5G networks, Smart Cities & Services, health, education and trade.

The measures taken by the government to control the Covid-19 and vaccinate against the population, will accelerate the pace of economic recovery by increasing the willingness of international investors to visit the Emirates. Furthermore, Dubai extended the freeze on government fees to support the local economy and businesses. The decisions taken by the Dubai government, reflects the government’s supportive and investor-friendly environment which will continue even beyond Expo 2020. Even though the Expo will end on March 31, 2022, the investors and businesses that are operating in Dubai will continue to benefit from these supportive measures till early 2023.

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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at for research inquiries.